ACTIVISTS and speakers are set to rally on the third anniversary of Brexit – and will ask Scots and Europeans to keep a light on for Scotland’s return as an independent country.

Time for Scotland – the group that organised rallies on Supreme Court Verdict Day – is holding a “Lights On” event outside the Scottish Parliament on January 31, 2023, urging support for Scotland’s right to self-determination.

Speakers from numerous parties have confirmed their plans to attend and organisers are asking everyone to bring a light.

The Edinburgh event will act as a central point for the 15 organisers who held rallies around Scotland in November and for campaign group Europe for Scotland who organised 6 solidarity rallies in European capital cities.

Time for Scotland co-organiser Lesley Riddoch said it is expected that January 31 will be “cold, dark, and probably wet” but this shouldn’t be a deterrent for activists to get out.

She said: “Yessers must show a constant commitment to activism - and whilst media coverage is not guaranteed as it was on Brexit Day 2020 or Supreme Court Decision Day 2022, we will probably be the only people in the UK objecting to Brexit.

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“Our filmmakers will be out and Indy Live will be live streaming to Scotland, and rallies across Europe.”

A prize will be awarded for the best lit banner and the rally will also feature performances by European citizens who’ve chosen to make Scotland their home and Scottish representatives.

SNP MP Alyn Smith, a Green MSP (name to be confirmed) and SNP MSP Jim Fairlie will be speaking alongside Janina Jetter, a German citizen and co-founder of Europe for Scotland.

Smith was previously a Member of the European Parliament and coined the narrative for Europe to 'leave a light on' in his final contribution to the chamber in Brussels in 2019.

He said: “Cher colleagues, I’m not asking you to solve our domestic discussions. I am asking you to leave a light on so we can find our way home.” MEPs responded to this by holding a vigil with lights.

%image('16266704', type="article-full", alt="The Greens/EFA group held a candlelit vigil ahead of Scotland's EU exit in 2020")


Fairlie is expected to represent Scottish farmers as a former sheep farmer himself and share the challenges brought on by Brexit farmers face every day.

The MSP said: "We must never miss an opportunity to highlight the reality of Brexit and forecasts suggest that the chaotic first two years are only the start of the Tory Brexit disaster inflicted on our industries our environment and our people."

On the 1st Brexit anniversary, Europe for Scotland released a video with Val McDermid that explained the injustice of Scotland’s involuntary EU exit.

Jetter said she is “delighted” to be speaking at the rally, travelling from Germany to relate to Scots that they have not been forgotten by Europe.

She added: “We can convey in person that the lights are still burning for Scotland and that our Scottish friends will be welcomed back with open arms if they want to return into our European family.

“We applaud the organisers for holding rallies on this sad anniversary, which we're sure won’t just look back with anger and dismay but also look ahead with hope and energy. Brexit must not be Scotland’s destiny and we will do all we can to support our Scottish friends in their efforts to reverse it."

The aim of the event is to remind everyone that Scotland voted remain in every council area in Scotland and, as the “the disastrous consequences of Brexit become more and more apparent” to English voters that spearheaded the UK's exit, Scots were right to vote Remain and “ignore the lies, and hollow, xenophobic boasts about ‘taking back control’ made by Tory politicians who were shamelessly scapegoating Europeans to distract from their own chronic failures of governance at Westminster".

The Holyrood Lights On event will be in person, but if Yessers can’t make it, the group is asking everyone across Scotland and Europe to keep a light on and share pictures online.

The best way for Yes activists to stay up to date with Time for Scotland events on 31 January across Scotland and Europe - and thereafter - is to register here.

The group are all unpaid volunteers, so having permission to email makes it much easier for us to keep everyone in the loop. You can follow the group on Facebook and their new Twitter account @time_scotland.